TOE&LIT Excerpts 1

Excerpt from The Popular Myths of Tax Policy

There are two things to understand about the position of the republicans and the democrats concerning taxation. 1st, lowering taxes has no impact on economic investment and economic growth. 2nd, there is no tax rate high enough for the government to tax the rich and produce any meaningful redistributive effect. For clarification on the second point, income and wealth inequality cannot be solved through taxation, and reducing the tax rate has no impact on investment.

Exerpt from 3 Most Important Issues

When we hear about median income we hear it in terms of household income, and the average household size in the united states is 2.6 people. (5) People hear $60,000 and for many it seems like a high number, but only because the number typically represents more than 1 person’s income.(6) The individual median income is only $31,000 per year. (7) There are few places in this country a person can live comfortably on $31,000 per year, which is of course why people have roommates or remain in committed relationships. The lowest cost of living in the United States is New Mexico, which has an average cost of living of $41,300 per year. Half the people in this country cannot afford to live on their own in New Mexico at the average cost of living.(8) This cost of living figure represents the state average, and there are of course ghettos across the country where people live on less, but it does establish that poor can probably be considered more than 50% of the country individually. Based on the fact that at least half the people in this country cannot afford to live alone in the state with the lowest cost of living.

I came across a study from the Brookings Institution which claims 44% of workers are low wage workers, earning less than 10.22 per hour. (9) The 44% is somewhat misleading, because the study excludes self-employed people from the study, for valid data comparison reasons, but it does inflate the percentage of workers who are counted as low wage. 53 million workers meet their criteria of 10.22 an hour or less. Which represents about 1/3rd of the workforce, and 1/4th of the adult population. I include this statistic because it provides a picture of the income below the median. Half the people in this country earn 31k individually or less, and 25% earn between 18k and 31k, and 25% earn less than 18k per year individually.

5: Arcgis 8/5/2019 “2019 USA Average Household Size” by Esri https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=b597302950234000b7ba4fa33cd785eb

6: United States Census Bureau 9/12/2018 “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States 2017 ($61,372) https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/income-poverty.html

7: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 9/13/2017 “Real Median Personal Income in the United States”. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEPAINUSA672N Source: US Census Bureau $31,099 Individual Median Income

8: USA Today 5/10/2018 “Cost of Living: The Purchasing Power of the Dollar in Every State”, by Michael B Saunter. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/economy/2018/05/10/cost-of-living-value-of-dollar-in-every-state/34567549/

9: Martha Ross, Nicole Bateman, 2019 “Meet the Low Wage Workforce”, Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings.

Exerpt from The Green No Deal

“It begins:
“it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal—
(A) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers;
(B) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;
(C) to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century;
(D) to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come—
(i) clean air and water;
(ii) climate and community resiliency;
(iii) healthy food;
(iv) access to nature; and
(v) a sustainable environment;”

Nowhere in the text is there a plan to accomplish any of this. There are goals associated with other goals, but again no plan on how to achieve these goals. For example:

“(E) By upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;”

How are you going to upgrade these buildings to achieve maximum efficiency? What technology, at what cost, is going to save how much, have what impact, and how will it be implemented? Will the owner be incentivized to make the upgrades? Will the government mandate the owners make the upgrades through regulation? Will the government pay for the upgrades outright? Is it an efficient use of public funds in an effort to reduce emissions or is there other areas where the money could be spent better to achieve the intended purpose? Where does it rank in priority to other spending to reduce emissions and transition to renewable energy?

The goal itself serves no purpose since increasing energy efficiency is meaningless if all energy is derived from renewable sources, and if all energy is not derived from renewable sources efficiency will not avert a climate catastrophe.

Exerpt Bernie Sanders Green New Deal

As I previously expressed, Sanders can include anything in his GND because even if elected, it will not pass congress, but in the same paragraph as weatherizing and retrofitting homes he is promising houses to over 20 million Americans. (2) Sanders plan calls for replacing all mobile homes with modular homes. The average size of a mobile home is 1500sqft conservatively. (3) The average cost per sqft of a modular home is $150. (4) The average cost of replacing each mobile home with a modular home is $225,000. Multiplied by 20 million is 4.5 trillion dollars, and Sanders has allocated only 2 trillion dollars for grants for retrofitting and weatherization, and to replace 20 million mobile homes, which does not include the cost of demolishing 20 million mobile homes and disposing of the debris. Again, you can claim the cost of promises you know you cannot keep is whatever you want it to be because the rubber will never meet the road. A good pitch if he’s trying to flip Oklahoma.

2: BBC 9/24/2013 “Why Do So Many American’s Live in Mobile Homes?”, Tom Geoghegan. “Estimated 20 million American’s live in mobile homes”. (https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24135022)

3: Mobile Home Sell 11/17/2017 “Mobile Home Sizes and How to Choose the Best One for Your Family”, by Bryceadmin. Single wide’s range in size from 600 square feet to 1300 square feet, double wide’s range from 2000 to 2500 square feet. The average of 1500 square feet is a conservative estimate for ease of math, as the average between 600 square feet and 2500 square feet is actually 1650 square feet. Additionally, there are triple wide mobile homes as large as 4500 square feet but were excluded from the average based on the presumed rarity of these structures. (https://www.mobilehomesell.com/mobile-home-sizes/)

4: Home Advisor “How Much Does it Cost to Build a Modular Home?”. “This breaks down to a price of $100 to $200 per sqft…” (https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/architects-and-engineers/modular-home-prices/)

Excerpt from Climate Change 101

The situation is actually much worse than what we can expect from manmade emissions. Beneath the permafrost is ancient plant and animal material frozen in the soil which prevents it from decomposing. Plants and animals release carbon during decomposition. If the permafrost melts this buried organic material will decompose and release CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. How much? “1460 to 1600 billion tons of organic carbon”. Which means what? That amount of carbon represents “nearly twice as much carbon stored in the atmosphere”. Presently there are about 400ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, so the permafrost contains the equivalent 800ppm of carbon (minus ocean scrubbing 30%). (14)

How much permafrost is expected to melt between now and the end of the century. the IPCC estimates that by mid-century 20 to 35 percent of permafrost will melt, and by 2080, as much as 50%. This is an additional 160 to 280ppm of CO2 by mid century, meaning in 30 years, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere could double, and we could have 800ppm by mid century. (2064 total 570ppm, minus (3.44 (5 decade average annual increase) x14 years) = 522 + 280ppm 35% permafrost melt =802. By 2080, if 50% of the permafrost melts we should see a carbon concentration that exceeds 1000ppm. (2064 570ppm, plus (5 decade average annual increase 7.35 x 16 years)= 698 + 400ppm permafrost melt =1098ppm, by 2080. (15)

14: Andrew Freedman, 12/09/2019, “The Artic May have Crossed Key Threshhold, Emitting Billions of Tons of Carbon into the Air, in a Long Dreaded Climate Feedback”. Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/12/10/arctic-may-have-crossed-key-threshold-emitting-billions-tons-carbon-into-air-long-dreaded-climate-feedback/?outputType=amp

15: https://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/melting_permafrost.asp Source: Philippe Rekacewicz, 2005. “The Effect of Climate Change on Permafrost”

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